How do I Start a Food Facility?

What do I do if I want to open a restaurant, grocery store or other retail food establishment?

If you are interested in starting a business which will provide food to the public, you should first contact the Public Health Services Department, Environmental Health Division, for assistance. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for County holidays. Our Bakersfield Office is located at: 2700 M Street, Suite 300. Persons living in outlying areas may make an appointment with our representative at one of our outlying district offices. You can contact us by phone at 661-862-8700 or 1-800-522-5376; by fax 661-862-8701; or by e-mail:

Our office will provide you with a copy of state regulations and guidelines for the construction or remodel of food establishments. Plan check guidelines may also be downloaded. You will need to submit plans and specifications to the Division for review and approval. Our staff will review your plans and specifications to insure that your establishment, once constructed, will meet state regulations.

You should also contact the Building Inspection Department and other government agencies having jurisdiction over the type of business you are interested in.

What do I do if I want to purchase an existing restaurant, grocery store or other food establishment?

If you are interested in purchasing an existing food facility of any type, please contact our office. We will conduct an up-to-date inspection and inform you of any changes or remodeling which may be required to bring the facility up to current standards. Since standards have changed over the years, even a restaurant which is operating may not meet current regulations because it has been "grandfathered" under the laws as they have changed. When a facility has been closed for six months or more, the owner will be required to bring the facility into compliance with current regulations. In addition, if the former owner or lessee removed all the equipment, plans and specifications will be required.

What do I do if I want to purchase an existing restaurant, grocery store or other food establishment?

Once your plans have been approved, and construction is near completion, contact the Public Health Services Department, Environmental Health Division, for an inspection. When your establishment receives approval to open and the required health permit fee is paid, a health permit will be issued. The health permit is non-transferable and non-refundable.

How much does it cost for a food establishment permit?

Fees for health permits are established by the Board of Supervisors. The fee ordinance contains health permit fees for various types of establishments.

What other agencies do I need to contact?

Below are the names and address of other agencies which may be involved in the type of food operation you are planning


Agency Contact List
(Lista de contactos de agencias)
City of Bakersfield County State Federal

City Business License
1600 Truxtun Ave
(661) 326-3762

County Clerk- Fictitious Names
1115 Truxtun Ave
(661) 868-3588
Department of Community Housing & Development
3737 Main St., Suite 400
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 782-4420
Internal Revenue Service
Employer Identification Number
4825 Coffee Rd
(800) 829-1040

City Planning Department/Zoning
1715 Chester Ave
(661) 326-3733

County Business License
1350 Norris Rd., Unit B
(661) 391-7690

State Board of Equalization
1800 30th St, Suite 380 (3rd Floor)
(661) 395-2881

Recreation & Parks Department
City Parks Permit
1600 Truxtun Ave
(661) 326-3866

County Planning Department
Zoning Approval
2700 M. St.
(661) 862-8600

Department of Motor Vehicles
3120 F St.
(800) 777-0133

County Fire Department
Fire Prevention Unit
5642 Victor St.
(661) 391-7080

Department of Food and Agriculture
Milk and Dairy Foods Control Branch
(916) 900-5008

Kern County Department of Agriculture & Measurements Standards
1001 So. Mt. Vernon Ave
(661) 868-6300
Department Of Public Health Food and Drug Branch Processed Food Registration
P.O. Box 997435, MS 7602 Sacramento, CA 95899-7435 (916) 650-6500 ages/FDB%20processedfoods.aspx


Outlying City Business Licenses and Zoning Requirements

City of Arvin
Business License/Zoning
200 Campus Dr.
(661) 854-3134

City of Ridgecrest
Business License
100 W. California
(760) 499-5026
City of Taft
Business License
209 E. Kern County
(661) 763-1350
City of Wasco
Business License/Zoning
764 E. St. (661)

City of Delano
Business License/Zoning
1015 11th Ave
(661) 720-2265

City of Shafter
336 Pacific Ave
(661) 746-5001
City of Tehachapi
115 S. Robinson
(661) 822-2200

City of Maricopa
Business License/Zoning
400 California St
(661) 769-8279

City of California City
Business License/Zoning
21000 Hacienda Blvd
(760) 373-8661
City of McFarland
401 W. Kern Ave.
(661) 792-3091


Kern County Environmental Health Division, 2700 M Street, Suite 300, Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-862-8740